(Persia Digest) - India has taken over operations of the strategic Chabahar port in the Sistan-Balochistan province of energy-rich Iran's southern coast, the Indian government said in a statement on Monday.

"The Government of India took over the operations of a part of Shahid Beheshti Port, Chabahar, in Iran during the Chabahar Trilateral Agreement meeting held there on December 24, 2018," the Shipping Ministry said in a statement here.

Mehr News reports that the heads of the Indian, Iranian and Afghanistan delegations jointly inaugurated the office of the Indian SPV - India Ports Global Chabahar Free Zone (IPGCFZ) at Chabahar.

"The physical take-over of the terminal area, cargo handling equipment and office building was completed by December 29, 2018," the statement said.


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"This step marks the beginning of a long journey. India making history with its engagement in Chabahar and is now leading the regional cooperation and joint efforts to support land locked Afghanistan. This is the first time India will be operating a port outside its territories," the Indian government's statement said.

India started interacting with Iran on Chabahar Port around 2003 but a major push was received in the second half of 2014, resulting in the signing of an MoU between the two countries.

The statement added that the challenges facing the contract between Iran and India were resolved through a formal short term contract between the two sides which was signed on May 6, 2018 during the visit of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani to New Delhi.

The Indian government's statement came today when the Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zari left Tehran for New Delhi for a three-day visit.

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